The Revenant – 4K UHD Review

Last week, I reviewed The Revenant‘s standard Blu-ray release. Earlier today I popped in the 4K version for a comparative review. The screenshots and movie review below are the same as the standard edition, since we are still trying to figure out how to get 4K screenshots. So, if you read the previous review, skip down to the Video Quality section, that’s where things get new. Now, without further ado, The Revenant 4K UHD.

The Movie Itself (5/5):

When a film brings home 3 Oscars out of 12 nominations, you know that it is something special. Few films get so many nods, but The Revenant is more than the total of nominations or awards, just like it is more than the sum of it’s parts.

The Revenant features a stellar cast including Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson (who has been absolutely killing it lately), Will Poulter, and Leonardo DiCaprio in the role that finally got him his Oscar. The movie is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who you will remember from Birdman last year, which also was a success during award season.

So the movie has pedigree; and thankfully, it has a story that matches the quality of it’s cast and crew.

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The film tells the semi-true story of Hugh Glass, a frontiersman who joins a fur-trading company as tracker and scout as they complete a six month job that should make each of the men wealthy. Instead, nearly all is lost to the harsh environment and native indians who are out not only to get their fur, but to also find a kidnapped daughter of the tribe.

As tracker and scout, it is Glass’ job to go ahead and find the best and safest route to get the company back to the fort, to safety. During one of these ventures, he is attacked and maimed by a bear. On the edge of death, and being a hindrance to the group’s travels, Glass’ son (half Pawnee Indian) is murdered and Glass is left half-buried alive, left for dead.

But Glass refuses to die, and now he has the ultimate reason to live — revenge.

The Revenant is a beautiful, gritty, and intense film that is perhaps the most accurate depiction of the perils that faced the brave men and women who ventured out into the wilderness during the time. Brutal animal attacks, some of the harshest weather with the lowest temperatures, and dealing with dangerous coworkers all guaranteed a slim chance for survival. Throughout it all, Leo takes on these challenges in an extremely believable way that is often difficult to watch, due to the realism and graphic content. You will feel what he feels, and that is a testament to the storytelling.

You owe it to yourself to give this movie a watch. It’s an adventure and experience like no other, and is masterfully crafted.

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Video Quality (5/5):

As I’ve said in my standard Blu-ray review, The Revenant is a beautiful film. Shot digitally using only natural light, everything just feels so real. So does 4K make a difference? I definitely think so.

While not a massive jump over the standard Blu-ray release in terms of visual quality, you will definitely notice a difference. There is a more lifelike quality to the forest and rivers in the film. Several scenes left me with my mouth gaping open, just staring in awe; and this is just days after having seen the movie on Blu-ray.

Overall, this movie is one of the best looking films out there. It’s got a great style and natural beauty to it that looks great on Blu-ray (and even better on 4K UHD). This is one to show off to your friends.

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Audio Quality (5/5):

From what I can tell, the 4K UHD release features the same audio as the standard release. I didn’t notice anything significantly different between the two. I’ve included my thoughts from the previous review:

The Revenant features a DTS-Master Audio 7.1 channel surround track, and it does so in way that is best described as “reference”. Closing your eyes at almost any point in the film will make you forget you are in the comfort of your own home and take you to into the scene in a way that is rarely experienced in film.

The movie really sets itself up to include such great sound, whether it be the lively sounding  forest with a plethora of ambient sounds, or the guns versus bows and arrows booming and whirring throughout the 3D sound space in combat scenes, each scene is alive, and the soundtrack absolutely fulfills this.

Silence is similarly used smartly here, emphasizing certain points, giving a heavy weight to the scene unfolding. This is a fun one to listen to.

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What’s in the Packaging (3.5/5)

In line with other Fox 4K releases, you get the standard black UHD case with the following inside:

  • Ultraviolet digital copy
  • 1 UHD disc, 1 Blu-ray disc

Other Versions:


(Click to enlarge)

Special Features (3/5)

Following the unfortunate trend that other UHD releases have set, no special features are included on the UHD disc. Instead, you get the features from the standard blu-ray that is included.

Included in this disc are:

  • Photo Gallery
  • A World Unseen (44mins, HD) – short documentary featuring behind the scenes, making of, and interviews
Technical Specs
  • HEVC / H.265
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio:
    • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
  • Subtitles:
    • English SDH
    • French
    • Spanish
  • 1 UHD, 1 Blu-ray
Final Thoughts (4.5/5):

Is this release worth upgrading to 4K? Not on it’s own, but it is absolutely one to own if you are already in the 4K camp. Also, since the 4K release includes the standard Blu-ray copy and is only five dollars more, you may want to just grab the 4K copy even if you aren’t ready for an upgrade yet but plan to do so in the future. The only downside in doing this is that you miss out on the slipcover that the standard edition comes with.

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